Newsom names members of COVID-19 relief committee — will they deliver what California needs?
by Katie Nelson
April 17, 2020
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the members of his COVID-19 economic advisory council, including co-chairs billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer and Newsom’s chief of staff Ann O’Leary, as well as Apple CEO Tim Cook, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, and four former governors including Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Sacramento, CA — Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the members of his COVID-19 economic advisory council, including co-chairs billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer and Newsom’s chief of staff Ann O’Leary, as well as Apple CEO Tim Cook, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, and four former governors including Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In his statement this afternoon, Steyer said the committee would design a recovery plan “worthy of California’s past” and push the state towards a “fair, green, and prosperous future,” as well as “[remedy] some of the injustices” COVID-19 has exposed in national infrastructures.
In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Caroline Henderson said:
“As a former presidential candidate, Tom Steyer peaked at an ‘A’ grade on Greenpeace’s 2020 climate ranking. Steyer knows the time is now to create new jobs and economic stability in regions hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and the declining oil and gas industry. Governor Newsom would do well to take note and be a real champion for the green and just recovery Californians need.
“But with 24 new fracking permits approved after a nine month pause, we see that Governor Newsom is clearly feeling the pressure from oil and gas executives looking to exploit this crisis for their own gain. Will this committee also bend to the will of the fossil fuel industry? Or will they instead listen to the nurses, hourly workers, unhoused people, the uninsured, and those on the frontlines of the climate crisis?
“We need this task force to push for changes that prioritize all Californians and truly remedy the injustices of the past. A ‘fair, green, and prosperous’ future looks like saying ‘no’ to handouts and new permits for the declining fossil industry, protecting frontline communities at even greater risk of COVID-19 by instating a 2,500-foot public health setback, and ensuring immediate relief and providing strong workers protections. Now is the time to invest in an economy for the future, instead of propping up unjust systems of the past.”
To maintain independence, Greenpeace USA does not endorse or oppose any political party, candidate, or elected official. We work to hold all candidates for office to the standard that science says is necessary to avert climate crisis, which means supporting a Green New Deal and ending fossil fuels.
Katie Nelson, Strategic Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (678) 644-1681, [email protected]